‘The personal is political’: sexuality, gender and the Left in Europe during the 1970s



Papadogiannis N & Gehrig S (2015) ‘The personal is political’: sexuality, gender and the Left in Europe during the 1970s. European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, 22 (1), pp. 1-15.

First paragraph: To call female comrades ‘chicks’ was unacceptable, a young left-wing Greek cadre proclaimed during a speech at a youth congress of his party in 1978. At a time when Feminist movements had gained momentum across Europe, such statements by male left-wing activists had become commonplace. The politics of sexuality nonetheless remained a contested field within the European Left. The articles in this special issue intend to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of gender transformations in 1970s Europe. The concentration on shifting representations of gender, sexuality and lifestyles within left-wing subcultures helps to reconsider two central issues which are prominently discussed in the scholarship on 1970s gender politics: the articles critically rethink the notion of ‘gradual progress’ in ‘sexual openness’ throughout Europe in the 1970s. Moreover, they demonstrate that the 1970s witnessed mass-mobilisation experiments, which were indelibly linked with reflections on gender relations, rather than merely marking an era of intense left-wing militancy or a ‘retreat into the private’.


European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire: Volume 22, Issue 1

FundersUniversity of St Andrews
Publication date31/12/2015
Publication date online24/12/2014
Date accepted by journal10/10/2014
PublisherInforma UK Limited

People (1)


Dr Nikolaos Papadogiannis

Dr Nikolaos Papadogiannis

Lecturer in European History, History